In a major step towards product data standardisation across the building materials industry, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has now launched a universal product data template which can be used by all manufacturers and merchants.

Product data standardisation is the key to removing inefficiencies in transferring information across the building materials supply chain. The BMF’s product data template has been specifically designed to help members eliminate the problem of inconsistent data content and format requests, thus saving time, effort and cost.

The first iteration of the BMF product data template, version 1.1, has been through a year of development and testing by a working group of over 30 BMF members, chaired by Jonathan Chard, Director of IT at Bradfords, and spanning national, regional and independent merchants, light-side and heavy-side manufacturers and suppliers, merchant buying groups and e-commerce specialists.
The template is already in use by many of the working group members, and the BMF has a target of 85% adoption across the supply chain by the end of 2024. The template is available free of charge for members to download from the BMF website.

Designed by the industry, for the industry, the data template is easy to use and has been created using a multi-tab Microsoft Excel format. The standardised template provides product data managers with a practical and familiar process with full support via the BMF website.

Data Template Webinars
The BMF has now embarked on a major drive to encourage take-up of the template from within the building materials sector.
This has included a series of product data standardisation webinars tailored to the requirements of merchants & buying groups and a separate webinar for suppliers & manufacturer members of the BMF.
Many BMF members have already taken advantage of these webinars to get up to speed with the usage of the product data template which is key to removing inefficiencies in the transfer of information across the supply chain.

The seminars are run by the BMF’s own industry data specialist, Dave Bate, and cover an overview of the new data template and an introduction to mapping and importing data from the template.

If you want to sign up for one of these webinars look out for our email reminders or please contact Dave.Bate@bmf.org.uk or call on 07923 221526.
To find out more and download the template go to the ‘Information Centre’ tab and select ‘Data Standardisation’ on the BMF website www.bmf.org.uk